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Population Dynamics of Ectoparasitic and Endoparasitic Nematodes in North Carolina

Glenn Galle: Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University

<div><span>Sting nematode (<i>Belonolaimus longicaudatus</i>) and root-knot nematode (<i>Meloidogyne </i>spp.) are emerging problems for creeping bentgrass and bermudagrass putting greens in the transition zone. These nematodes cause severe putting green damage resulting in decreased playability. Sting nematode is a ectoparasitic nematode, feeding on the plant roots and causing severe damage at very low population numbers. Root-knot nematode is an endoparasitic nematode, feeding and reproducing within the turf root system and decreasing overall root function. However, little is known about either nematode’s population dynamics and soil movement throughout the year. A sampling study was initiated in 2014 to quantify nematode populations at different depths in soil over three years. Nematode samples were collected monthly at three different depths from four golf courses throughout central North Carolina. <i>B. longicaudatus </i>populations were consistent across three golf courses, with numbers ranging from 40-250 nematodes per 500 cc. soil. Populations were primarily within the top 10 centimeters of the soil during the winter, but during the summer nematodes were observed primarily in the lower 20+ centimeters of the soil. Root-knot nematode was sampled at a single course, and numbers of stage 2 juveniles ranged from 20-120 nematodes per 500 cc. soil. Root-knot nematode populations remained in the top 10 centimeters throughout the study. Both sting and root-knot populations increased in April as temperatures start to rise. This shows very different population dynamics depending upon feeding tactics, indicating different management strategies.</span></div>

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